Students plan to protest Nokia store in NYC re: Iran role

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Word on the street is that students plan to protest outside of the Nokia store in Manhattan because of the company’s alleged evildoing in Iran. The protest is being led by Project Nur, which is a student-affiliated “initiative” of the American Islamic Congress. Good luck, bro.

Protesters will be chanting, “Repression we can’t condone; throw out your Nokia phone!” That seems a little shoe-horned, but who am I to rain on these kids’ parade?

An American University student said, “We want Nokia executives to know we will not be silent, and we want Iranian students to know we stand with them.”

What’s all this about? People seem to think that Nokia, in its Nokia Siemens partnership in Iran, has been supplying the government with technology that enables it to track and monitor simple, cellphone-owning citizens. The problem is that every cellphone network has such capabilities. Says BusinessWeek:

There’s one little problem. Such monitoring capability is required in wireless gear by virtually all governments and it is part of the GSM Assn. and European Telecommunications Standards Institute standards. In the U.S., the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (CALEA) requires that all wireless carriers provide the technological means for law enforcement authorities to tap wireless accounts.

In other words, Iranians aren’t in a unique position.

So good luck with your little protest, guys, but unless CNN runs a story that says “NOKIA HATES IRANIAN BABIES!” I don’t know if it’ll be worth your time.

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